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Press Releases 2010

Pakistan, U.S. Mark Successful Conclusion Of American Military Flood Relief Mission

December 2, 2010

Islamabad - Four months of U.S. military flood relief operations in Pakistan are over as Pakistan shifts its focus from emergency humanitarian airlift to sustained recovery and reconstruction. At the request of the Government of Pakistan, the U.S. military flew its last humanitarian airlift mission on November 30.

Pakistani and American officials gathered at Ghazi Aviation Base on Thursday to thank and bid farewell to the humanitarian airlift team there: the Pakistan Army's 21 Quick Reaction Squadron, its 28 Army Aviation Squadron, Special Support Group, Special Services Support Group and Task Force Denali of the U.S. 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, deployed from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

"Here, we stand in the presence of true heroes," said Ambassador Munter in opening remarks to the crowd of approximately 200 Pakistan and U.S. soldiers. "I salute the Pakistani and United States military forces who have worked tirelessly, shoulder-to-shoulder, under extremely adverse conditions, to help millions of Pakistanis." Ambassador Munter continued, "Going forward, the United States will continue to provide civilian-led flood relief and reconstruction support in full coordination and cooperation with Pakistan's government, and based on the government's assessment of needs for recovery and rebuilding."

"This was not the beginning and it was not the end; this is a continuation of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship," said Lt. Gen. Asif of the transition from urgent humanitarian airlift to follow-on recovery and reconstruction projects.

"We responded quickly and worked tirelessly to help our friends in Pakistan. It was a matter of life and death for countless people, and I'm incredibly proud of this team's life-saving achievements," said Brig. General Nagata.

On July 31, within 36 hours of the start of flooding, U.S. Air Force C-130 and C-17 aircraft began aid flights delivering more than 436,000 halal meals.  By the end of operations, U.S. helicopters flew more than 26 million pounds (almost 12 million kilograms) of relief supplies and rescued more than 40,000 people.

"We are grateful to our American friends who were very helpful. This would not have been possible without you, "said Brigadier Gen. Sajid, noting that the transition represents a continuation of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

In addition to the humanitarian airlift assistance, U.S. monetary aid for flood relief has topped half a billion dollars.  With this transition, USAID and other U.S. civilian agencies will continue to provide assistance to flood victims.

Among the participants were:  Cameron P. Munter, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan; Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, Pakistan Army 11 Corps Commander; Brig. General Sajid Naeem, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority, Member Operations; Brig. General Michael Nagata, Deputy Commander, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan; along with Elizabeth Rood, U.S. Consul General-Peshawar; and Michael Whiting, Air Coordinator for the World Food Program's United Nations Humanitarian Air Service.